Many Still Believe Toronto is a Safe City

I travel a lot and when go back to Toronto always felt very safe. In Toronto I never have to worry about keeping my purse zipped, my phone on a bracelet or leaving some stuff in the car trunk. Yes, on occasion I hear stuff gets stolen from the car, but every time I ask if car has been left open, answer is “yes”. So, some people even leave their car unlocked when going to a store or a coffee shop in Toronto downtown.

This Sunday, Eaton Centre shooting, seem to have changed this prospective for many people. Imagine you are inside the mall having a snack and suddenly one idiot starts shooting people around. Then police comes and locks all the doors and you can’t get out for a few hours. You hear people scream, see them push each other around, blood etc. Then media of course writing details of how messy things got, don’t you get in the state of panic? Is every mall the same? Eaton Centre is always jam-packed. It is the busiest mall in Toronto.  It is also the densest mall in Toronto. If you ever been there, try to remember using up the escalator, getting on is a challenge. This time it was a random shooting, next time it could be targeted.

So far, 2012 has seen 133 victims from shootings, up by 40 from the same time last year and 31 from 2010. Every year shootings peak during the summer, therefore summer is called “summer of the gun”. Most of them are related to two gangs  the Jamestown Crips and the Mount Olive Crips.

Eaton Centre shooting is by far the bloodiest ever. 1 person dead – the target, 6 people shot – 2 in critical condition including a 13 year old child who was shot in the head. Unconfirmed amount, I would imagine, hundreds who got bruised for being pushed around. Some people abandoned their bags when running for their lives.

According to opinions published in Toronto Star, many people believe that despite the disaster, Toronto is still a safe city.  This event by no means is not normal and last time something similar happened was 5 years ago when a young girl was killed outside the shopping centre also in gang related shooting.

I certainly want to believe that Toronto is still a safe city. A shooting suspect is arrested, but given linear Ontario laws, unlikely will face more than 20 years in jail. In the end of the day, he is probably safer in jail than on the streets among gangs. Interesting fact is that suspect actually turned himself in. I think the police should take a special note on ensuring that public places, especially very public like Eaton Centre are safe. Also, it would not harm the mall administration from topping up their security efforts to watch who is walking around the mall perhaps with the gun so freely.

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